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Publication: Living Green
Cold Weather Composting.

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            LIVING GREEN - Monday, June 16, 2008

Good morning, 

A reader wrote in asking a question about last week's 
composting issues... 

   "Question, I live in northern British Columbia 
   where there is snow like 9 months of the year. 
   How can I keep the compost warm during the 
   winter or does it really matter?" -Melissa 

A few minutes of research on the Internet pulled up some 
great information on this very topic including a page by 
gardening enthusiast Les Brake who does all of his growing, 
and composting, in Willow, Alaska. 

Thanks for reading, 

Your Living Green editor 


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* In cold climates, compost piles may take up to a year or 
more to break down, but the payoff is richer, healthier soil 
to help vegetation survive the bitter cold. 

* By adding new compost piles constantly, you'll always have 
access to a pile after a couple of years. You can have as 
many piles as you have room for. 

* If you live in a cold climate, your compost pile will pro-
bably go dormant in the winter. Don't worry - it will start 
back up again when the springtime thaw comes. 

* A common misunderstanding about compost piles is that they 
must be hot to be successful. This isn't true. If you have 
good aeration, moisture and the proper ingredient mix, your 
pile will decompose just fine at temperatures of 50 degrees 
Farenheit and above. 

* You can also provide additional insulation to a pile by 
stacking bales of hay or straw, or bags of dry autumn leaves, 
around your compost bin system. Some people even used stacked 
hay bales to make bin systems (this kind of bin will slowly 
compost itself, of course). 


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